Report finds renewable energy boom in the MENA region

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VP and Prime Minister of the UAE presenting the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park
MENA governments have announced a number of ambitious projects in recent years, such as the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), REN21 and the United Arab Emirates have released a new report which finds that renewable energy investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increased 40% over 2011 to USD 2.9 billion in 2012.

MENA Renewables Status Report identifies over 100 projects in development, and estimates that non-hydro renewable energy generating capacity could increase 450% over the next few years. MENA governments have announced plans to expand non-hydro renewable energy capacity to 50 GW by 2020 and 107 GW by 2030, compared to the current 1.7 GW.

“From IRENA's headquarters in Abu Dhabi, we have been uniquely placed to witness renewable energy become a multi-billion dollar industry within the MENA region,” stated IRENA Director General Adnan Amin. “Since 2008, modern renewable energy production has grown at a much faster rate than fossil fuels and, with 106 renewable energy projects currently in the pipeline, this trend is likely to continue.”

“By implementing ambitious targets, and enabling strong regulatory and institutional frameworks, governments across the region are driving the growth of renewable energy, and showing growing recognition of its broad macro-economic

The report notes that net oil-exporting nations account for over 80% of the regions 107 GW of planned renewable energy capacity additions, which it describes as a “sea change” in the approach of these nations.

Strong policy progress in the region

It also finds that all 21 MENA nations now have renewable energy policy targets, and that 19 nations have technology specific targets. Additionally, it finds that 18 MENA nations have enacted at least one “renewable energy enabling policy” by early 2013, a category which includes feed-in tariffs, net metering, incentives and public financing.

However, it also finds that several challenges need to be addressed to reduce dependence upon public and soft financing, as well as to foster greater private investment. This includes a reform of energy pricing, and policies to address financing uncertainty.



2013-07-29 | Courtesy: IRENA, REN21, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs | © Heindl Server GmbH

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